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Marine Invasive Non-Native Species

 

In addition to threatening the biodiversity of our native marine fauna and flora, the introduction of invasive non-native species can have also serious economic effects on marine industries and their associated infra-structures. Invasive marine algae (seaweed) can grow on structures such as piers, slipways, fish-farm cages, boat hulls and can become entangled in boat propellers and non-native invertebrates can affect local fisheries and aquaculture.

Marine species are spread by actives such as shipping (attached to boat hulls or in ballast water); transporting fish and shellfish for the seafood industry; scientific research and public aquaria, on a global basis and their introduction can be either accidental or intentional. It is extremely difficult to remove an invasive species in the marine environment and therefore, effective biosecurity plans are a a crucial part of preventing their introduction. Early detection is important in preventing further contamination and amateur biological recorders as well as those involved in the marine industries and leisure activities can play an important role in Marine INNS monitoring.

So far only a small number of species have been recorded in the islands, but with the growth of marine tourism the risk of more species being introduced increases. The Marine Biological Association has produced an identification guide to a selected range of invasive species which can be downloaded from this site.

 

 

Guide to Marine INNS

Information and Identification Sheets:
Selected Marine Species